California: Small Pharmacy Offers Help to HIV Patients
February 8, 2011
A small pharmacy on East Palm Canyon Drive in Cathedral City has remained successful competing with larger area drug stores partly because of its size but primarily due to its specialization in HIV drugs and treatment.
The numerous drugs and treatment options associated with HIV make it a complicated specialty in the medical field. Irwin has training in HIV from the University of Buffalo in addition to his pharmacy degree. The pharmacy's other six employees are also well versed in HIV, he said, which increases the confidence and comfort level of their clientele.
Although medicine has improved and many patients follow a more simplified regimen of one pill per day, cost can still be problematic, noted Irwin. A pharmacy bill of $25,000 a year would not be unusual, which is where Diaz comes in.
Focusing on early detection and treatment as keys to survival, Diaz conducts outreach programs, participates in health fairs, and distributes HIV/AIDS information. And, as insurance plans and assistance programs are critical for people who cannot afford drugs or who are uninsured, Diaz helps pharmacy customers to cut through paperwork and directs them to various programs that are available.
"No one is turned away," said Diaz. "If they need help (medical treatment, insurance or financial assistance) we will figure out something."
Desert Sun (Palm Springs)
02.04.2011; Bill Marchese
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